Over the years, sales and marketing restrictions have piled up on food, drinks and alcohol products. Some are now beginning to worry about a “slippery slope” where tobacco-style regulations – and taxation – are being applied to a whole range of consumer products in the name of public health objectives.
In this Special Report, EURACTIV looks at policies aimed at regulating what and how much people smoke, eat or drink.
In an attempt to address public health concerns, policymakers have pushed for increased regulation on food, soft drinks and alcohol products. Download PDF
Governments can steer consumers towards healthier choices by supporting the reformulation of food ingredients, rather than imposing "discriminatory" taxes, according to the soft drinks industry.
The trend towards imposing plain packaging on tobacco products has made industry executives furious and denounce “Brussels-led overregulation” that effectively leads to "brand theft".
Makers of spirits and beer are exploring self-regulatory solutions to show consumers the ingredients contained in the alcohol they drink. However, they find the Commission's timeline "too tight" and fear mandatory rules will eventually be imposed on them.
A UK scheme that labels pre-packed food in red, amber or green according to their level of healthiness was rejected by Mediterranean countries at EU level but is slowly gaining momentum across Europe.
Governments across Europe have applied ever-more restrictive measures to the sale of food and drinks as a way of fighting obesity – a regulatory proliferation that is making retailers worried about new barriers to the EU’s single market.
Consumers make hundreds of choices every day, some of which imply weighing the tradeoffs of joy versus long term health. These are highly subjective decisions, and in a free society adult consumers should have the right to make these choices and not have them dictated to them by public health tsars, writes Fred Roeder.